Senate to Take Final Vote on Auto Glass Pricing Law Today
March 23, 2009
The Montana Senate is expected to read H.B. 291, which speaks to auto
glass pricing, for a third and final time today. Rep. Jon Sonju, who sponsored
the bill, told glassBYTEs.com/AGRR magazine that the bill
passed its second reading in the Senate with a voice vote of 47-0 on Saturday,
and he expects this final vote to end similarly.
If passed, the bill that would revise the state's insurance law on glass
to use the average prevailing market price in insurance claims.
The law, which applies to body shops as well, currently provides for insurance
companies to abide by the lowest prevailing market price.
If passed, the actual text of the law, which also deals with consumer
choice for auto glass and auto body repairs, would be adapted to read
"Prevailing market price. For purposes of 33-18-221, and 33-18-223,
and 33-18-224, 'prevailing market price' means the average market price
in a local area. The prevailing market price may not be less than cost
as provided in 30-14-209."
"[The bill] eliminates the lowest prevailing rate to kind of average
out the cost, because there have been some issues with third-party administrators
taking a lowest prevailing rate," said Rep. Sonju. "This is
to even it out a little bit."
Rep. Sonju said the bill originally was brought to him by the Montana
Collision Repair Specialists Association, based on both his prior involvement
with the insurance law, and his own personal background.
"In my youth and early business days, my father actually owned a
body shop, so I'm familiar with the world of collision repair and glass,"
he said. "That's why I took this on."
HERE for the full text of the bill.
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